Actor Sam Elliott stirred up a predictable passel of trouble recently with an epic rant about an overrated movie. He upset woke Hollywood with what Variety’s Marc Malkin calls “caustic and homophobic comments” about Oscar nominated Western “The Power of the Dog.”
Caustic? Yes. He called the movie a “piece of shit,” wondered why it was filmed in New Zealand and asked “Where’s the Western in this Western.” Homophobic? I dunno. Maybe he just wasn’t in the mood for “allusions [and more than just allusions] of homosexuality.”
Sunday night at the DGA Awards, the kind of people who care about red carpets heard a riposte from the movie’s director, New Zealander Jane Campion. Asked by Variety about Elliott’s rant, she said, “I’m sorry, he was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H. He’s not a cowboy; he’s an actor.”
“The West is a mythic space,” Campion said, “and there’s a lot of room on the range.”
Also true. There’s room for sadistic closeted ranchers who are poisoned to death by the boys they seduce. It's not "High Noon," but it seems to be all the culture can muster these days.
She added, “I think it’s a little bit sexist.”
Jane Campion responds to Sam Elliott's #ThePowerOfTheDog comments: "I'm sorry, he was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H. He's not a cowboy; he's an actor. The West is a mythic space and there's a lot of room on the range. I think it's a little bit sexist." https://t.co/I32wQ8lCiF pic.twitter.com/Tftq4AoXCy— Variety (@Variety) March 13, 2022
Boo -hoo, you had me then you lost me. Elliott said nothing sexist. But the misogyny card, like the race card, is easy to play. In truth, Campion’s comeback was far better than the one last week from Benedict Cumberbatch, the movie’s star.
Beyond that reaction, that sort of denial that anybody could have any other than a heteronormative existence because of what they do for a living or where they're born, there's also this massive intolerance within the world at large towards homosexuality and still toward an acceptance of the other and anything kind of difference.
Talk about B-I-T-C-H! Does Cumberbatch really talk like that?
Well, Elliott’s been around Hollywood long enough to know which are the sacred cowboys, and he said it anyway. And good on him. The movie really is a piece of …